Surgical interns: Preparedness for opioid prescribing before and after a training intervention

Michael J. Nooromid*, Neel A. Mansukhani, Benjamin W. Deschner, Simon Moradian, Nabil Issa, Karen J. Ho, Jonah J. Stulberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Introduction: Exposure to pain management curriculum in medical school is currently variable. This paper reports on formal prescribing education, self-perceived prescribing readiness, and prescribing practices among incoming surgical residents before and after a pain management training session. Methods: Pre-residency survey of thirty surgical interns at a single urban medical center, followed by a repeat survey after an educational session on prescription writing and opioid abuse. Results: Thirty-three percent of respondents had formal education on prescription writing in medical school. Median subjective preparedness to write an opioid prescription was 1.5 (range 1–10) on a 1–10 Likert scale. Ranges of morphine milligram equivalents (MME) prescribed varied from 420-2700 MME for 8 mock surgical scenarios. Post-training, median subjective preparedness increased to 3.5 (range 1–6) and prescription accuracy (the inclusion of a medication, dose, frequency, and duration) improved from 75% to 97% (p < 0.001). Overall, 90% of interns found the training session useful. Conclusion: Most surgical interns were not trained in prescribing narcotics in medical school. Improved pain management curriculum is necessary to assure safe and consistent opioid prescriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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